A simple but impressive preparation.
- Yield: 4 servings
- 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick), at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sugar, plus additional for sprinkling on the fruit
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup shelled pistachio nuts
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped or grated (about 2 teaspoons)
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- Pinch of salt
- 4 good-sized nectarines, preferably freestone
- About 2/3 cup white wine (dry or sweet)
- Sabayon or vanilla ice cream
- Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- To make the pistachio-ginger filling, beat together the butter, sugar, and egg yolk.
- Coarsely chop the pistachios with a chef’s knife and stir them into the butter mixture. Stir in the ginger, lemon zest, and salt.
- Wash and dry the nectarines. Slice each one in half lengthwise and separate the halves by gently twisting them. Remove the pits, being careful not to tear the fruit apart. Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out some of the fruit to make a larger cavity where the pit was. Depending on the size of the fruit, the opening should be about twice as large as the area that previously held the pit.
- Pack about 2 teaspoons of filling into the cavities of the nectarine halves. Place them in a shallow baking dish. Pour about 1/2 inch of wine into the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the stuffed nectarines with sugar and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the filling has browned and the nectarines are cooked through. (If the filling browns before the fruit is cooked, drape a sheet of foil over the baking dish.)
- Serve the warm baked nectarines with a few spoonfuls of the wine syrup from the bottom of the dish, and sabayon or vanilla ice cream. These can be baked a few hours in advance and rewarmed before serving.
Note: This recipe may make a little more filling than you will need, in which case store it in the refrigerator and bake it on toast for breakfast. You can also bake peaches this way; when they come out of the oven, you should be able to carefully peel off their skins.
Variation: You can also substitute toasted almonds for the pistachios, and add more or less ginger, to taste.
Beverage pairing: Weingut Prinz von Hessen Riesling Auslese, Germany. The bright stone fruit and salty nuttiness need something creamy and fruity with a lot of gorgeous acidity. A sweet German Riesling is just the thing. This one is not too sweet, but is full, rich, and smooth enough to perfectly highlight the dessert.